Social mediais also known or classified as new media which frequently used by the peopleworldwide to communicate or doing anything about communication field. Theuncontrolled usage of social media will give a bad impact on the user andsociety, but if it was using wisely any bad things can be avoided. Social mediagives pros and cons to the user. They are the users that play an important rolein forming a healthy lifestyle for social media users in future. Twitter as a micro blogging service hasemerged as a new medium in spotlight through recent happenings, such as ArabSpring in Arab World and Boston terrorist attack.
Twitter users follow othersor are followed not like on most online social networking sites, such asFacebook, the relationship of following and being followed requires nointerchange of information. A user can follow any other user, and the userbeing followed need not follow back. (Kwak, Lee, Park,Moon, 2010) Kwak et.al also mentioned that once youfollowed another twitter user, you can see and react for anything that theywrote and share. The users are free to express their feeling and what theythink.
They can share another’s usertweet by using Re-Tweet button. They also can quote the tweet to give theiropinion or feedback to the tweet quoted. The retweet mechanism empowers usersto spread information of their choice beyond the reach of the original tweet’sfollowers.
(Kwak, Lee, Park, Moon, 2010)Twitter was micro-blogging software thatallowing the users to publish the message known as tweet to the other users.The user may spread the messages just by re-tweeting it. Twitter allows theextension of information to large people worldwide just by using the smartphone or web-based services. (Mendoza, Poblete and Castillo, 2010) The statistic of social media usage worldwide in March 2015 shows thereare about 17 Million citizen of Malaysia was an active social media users. Most90% of them are active mobile social users which rapidly increased 14% from2014. (Kemp, 2015) The statistic also reveal that people in Malaysia spent about 5 hoursand 4 minutes on the internet via tablet or pc while average for daily use ofthe internet via and mobile phone which is mobile internet users was 3 hoursand 39 minutes. Meanwhile, 3 hours and 27 minutes spent on social media via anydevice.
(Kemp, 2015)Thisnew revolution of micro blogging world allows everyone to essentially createtheir own newspaper or newscast with the easy procedure. Most of the newsagencies worldwide use Twitter as a medium to provide latest information andnews because it is easy and fast.In today’s world,social media play a big role in our life. Not just for reaching a lost contactfriend and searching for information, we also tend to have all access regardingthe internet, reading news and get information about other country just byclicking on their smart phone. People and smart phone are inseparable, smartphone also can act as a weapon to spread information that are happening indaily life but are not fast enough to be update by the television as it onlycan be shown during the news time.Viral messagebecome trending as message is being shared person to person in social media.Sometimes viral message are good as it raise awareness among people that arebeing reached but when a false message being viral it raise the fear amongpeople especially if it involved death.
People should be caution when spreadinginformation on serious thing such as flood that happens every year.Prime Ministerof Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said the people must stick to thenews sources which provide the truthful information for the citizen. Plus, theirresponsibility of spread the false news could cause concern and worry amongstpeople. (BERNAMA 29 December 2014)Socialmedia are increasingly used in political context recently by the citizens andpolitical institutions such as politicians, political parties, politicalfoundation and think tanks. (Stieglitz and Dang, 2012)Itis important to actively participate in the political communication based onthe use of social media mostly during election campaign. Social media was asuitable medium for a discussion and political participation among the users tospread the political opinion.In Malaysia, the opposition parties use theTwitter as a medium to spread their propaganda and agenda. Most of the socialmedia user use Twitter because it was easy to access and provide variety ofinformation.
Political messages used to be controlled by a handful of powerfulgatekeepers as the messengers and also the messages are more diffuse anddiverse, today.As conclusion, social media likes Twitterwill provide pros and cons to the users. The users should always aware what theconsequences of their misusage of Twitter whether it can help them or harmtheir life. The false news and sensationalism was example of the misusage ofTwitter that might give the bad impact to the users.
The false news andsensationalism will kill the truth and will be spread worldwide and harm thename of individual, company or organization and also the name of country. 1.2 Problem StatementThe increase of social media users open to any possibilities for theincrease of spammer and faker who involve in the spread of false and fakeinformation.
The social media users might be in risk when they are using theirsocial media. Any negative impact will affect them such as the social mediaaccount being hacked and the privacy matter might be spread to public. Fake news also classified as a story whichdoes not has a factual basis but presented as news.
It is easily abused bythose who want to control on press freedom since a free press offer be the bestdefense against fake news. The spread of fake news was not by the journalistbut usually from the individual who see a social media are the medium to themto share and connect their news stories. (News Media Association (2017)Sensational can define as a thing thatdeveloped a negative implication for a few decades after the rise of PennyPress. Samuel Johnso’s Dictionary (1755) the term of sensational carried nonegative implications. It was defined as perception by means of the sense.
(Grabe,Zhou and Barnett (2011)Total of cybersafety incident reported by Malaysia Cyber Security on 2014 has increased by12% which is 11,918 and on 2013 with 10,636 cases. There are few casesinvolving spreading of messages and fake news in social media throughout theprevious year. Those who involved in spreading fake news will be charged underSeksyen 233(1) (a) Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 and punishment notexceed RM50,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both. (Malaysia CyberSecurity (2014))Meanwhile, MalaysianCommunications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) investigate 167 Internet andsocial media abuse cases between last year and Feb 1 this year. MCMC alsoreporting that the case under investigation under the Communications andMultimedia Act 1998 involved spreading false content and information through WhatsApp,Facebook and Twitter.
(BERNAMA (2017)) Theproblem face now is the false information that tends to influences anotherusers to believe on that false news without do a research first. The increaseof misusage of social media for the spread of false and fake news cases need tobe prevent and cure effectively. Theimpact of false news and sensationalism on Twitter might tend to change theperception of the user. They might accept the information provide blindlywithout do any fact checking. They also might to share that information toother users and this situation might lead to misleading.
Therefore,this research will reveal the impact of false news and sensationalism onTwitter towards the Twitter user. The researcher also wants to know the factorof the spreading of false news and sensationalism on Twitter. The more factorsrevealed, the more solutions will gain to reduce the impact of false news andsensationalism on Twitter. Uses and Gratifications TheoryUses and Gratifications Theory is an approachto understanding why and how people actively seek out specific media to satisfyspecific need (Severin, Werner; Tankard, James(1997). A uses and gratifications approach to the study of communicationwas first formally outlined by Katz (Katz, 1959).
Katz wanted to change the typical things thateveryone do which instead asking what the media do to people, we ask whatpeople do with the media. In the early 1940s, plenty of studies examined themode on how people make use the different media platforms such as classicalradio music, radio soap operas and daily newspapers (O’Donohoe, 1994).According to Katz, there are four guidelinesfor uses and gratifications to occur: First, the audience should be active inusing any mass media for what they already aimed. Second, the media userschoose the media platform that they believe will make them gainingsatisfaction. Third, the media compete with other media to perform satisfactionfor users.
Finally, the gratifications that happened fromthe media bring diversion, entertainment, and information to the audience(Katz, Gurevitch, & Haas, 1973). Even though, Katz applied the uses andgratifications theory to the traditional media outlets such as radio and TV,the theory can be applied to more recent media such as social media (Twitterand Facebook). The motives behind the impact of false news and gratificationsof sensationalism depend on the personality of the individual and also on theself-esteem levels of the individuals.
Twitter is amedium to the users to communicate each other. The false news andsensationalism come from the users who unable to carry the responsibility toprovide an accurate and clear information the others. This gratification and usestheory was suitable to use in this research because the researchers want toreveal and know the impact and factor of false news and sensationalism thatpracticed among the Twitter users. The researcher wants to know what the usersintention when spread the false news and sensationalism to other users and whatthe users perception when read the false news and sensationalism on writing inTwitter.
The researcher also wants to know whether thespreader of false news and sensationalism felt satisfy when doing thatunethical things and also whether they know the impact of their wrongdoingtowards the society of Twitter. Quantitativeresearch has certain advantages. One is that the use of numbers allows greaterprecision in reporting results. For example, the Violence Index (Gerbner,Gross, Morgan & Signorielli, 1980), a quantitative measuring device, makesit possible to report the exact increase or decrease in violence from one televisionseason to another, where qualitative research could report only whether therewas more or less violence. To support the argument, researcherused quantitative method because it could state the research problem in veryspecific and set terms (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 1992).O’NEILL R in his online website stated that quantitativemethods allow for a broader study, involving a greater number of subjects, andenhancing the generalization of the results. It also can allow for greaterobjectivity and accuracy of results. Generally, quantitative methods aredesigned to provide summaries of data that support generalizations about thephenomenon under study.
In order to accomplish this, quantitative researchusually involves few variables and many cases, and employs prescribedprocedures to ensure validity and reliability. Meanwhile, the usage ofstandards means that the research can be replicated, and then analyzed andcompared with similar studies. Kruger (2003) confirms that ‘quantitativemethods allow us to summarize vast sources of information and facilitatecomparisons across categories and over time’. Personal bias also can be avoidedby researchers keeping a ‘distance’ from participating subjects and employingsubjects unknown to themFor this quantitative approach, the researcher wills face-to-face surveywhich focused on 60 students of UiTM, who use Twitter to know the impact offalse news towards them. 3.2 Population and SamplePopulationis a group or class of subjects, variables, concepts, or phenomena.
Sample is asubset of the population that is representative of the entire population(Wimmer & Dominick, 2014). The target population for this research wereUiTM Shah Alam students.Whilea sample is a subset of thepopulation that is representative of the entire population (Wimmer &Dominick, 2014) or in other words, sample is a targeted group inside apopulation. The sample for this researchis Twitter users among UiTM Shah Alam students.3.
3Sampling TechniquesThesampling method used in this study is the non-probability sampling method whichis purposive sampling. According to Bernard (2002), Lewis & Shepphard(2006), the purposivesampling technique, also called judgment sampling, is the deliberate choice ofan informant due to the qualities the informant possesses. It is a nonrandomtechnique that does not need underlying theories or a set number of informants.Simply put, the researcher decides what needs to be known and sets out to findpeople who can and are willing to provide the information by virtue ofknowledge or experience (Tongco, 2007).Theresearcher’s target population for this research is the social media users ofTwitter.
Accordingto Krejcie and Morgan table, if the population is 1 million, the sample must be384. Therefore, the sample size of representatives for this study is 384.However, in this study, the researcher does not have intention to generalizethe result.
So therefore, the researcher will use purposive sampling and willdistribute questionnaires to 60 selected users who active in the Twitter usage. 3.4Instrument for Data CollectionA questionnaire was chosen as data collectioninstrument for this research. According to Webster (1828), questionnaire is aset of questions for obtaining statistically useful or personal informationfrom individuals.
The survey questions are asked what the user perception offalse news and sensationalism on Twitter.Other questions include the other factors contribute to sensationalismand false news on Twitter as perceived by Twitter users. Thequestionnaires also consisted of section A and B. Section A aimed at gainingdemographic data such as age, level of education, and gender. Section B willthe research objectives and questions.
Each response will coded to determine the mostcommon reasons behind what the perception of the Twitter users towards thefalse news and sensationalism on Twitter and also what the other factors thatcontributes to sensationalism and false news on Twitter. 3.5 Data Analysis3.
5.1 Descriptive AnalysisAfter the data was collected, researcher willorganize and analyze the coded data. For analysis of closed-ended questions, acomputer program called Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) wasused. Data was analyzed by using descriptive statistics.
Frequency tables were drawn and the data waspresented in pie diagrams and bar graphs. The open-ended questions wereanalyzed through quantitative content analysis by the researcher with the aimof quantifying emerging characteristics and concepts.